That hunger is a problem in the United States is self-evidently unnecessary; even with the economic downturn, we produce more than enough food to feed everybody within our borders. Yet as this social-issue doc makes clear, many still go hungry, a crisis that remains persistent and is worsening for a variety of intertwined reasons, most of them maddening. These include a shift in governmental priorities in the Reagan era, and the difficulty of finding food with nutritional value in “food deserts”—where mass-produced chips and sugar-rich cereal crowd the shelves, but fruits and vegetables are in short supply.
With assistance from concerned citizens, many of them famous (including executive producer Tom Colicchio and Jeff Bridges, who’s been involved with antihunger charities since the 1980s), directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush present the case for taking action. As an info dump, Table is admirably efficient, addressing everything from obesity to the limits of charity. As a film, it’s less compelling, with only one subject—Philadelphia single mom Barbie Izquierdo—getting enough screen time to put a human face on the crisis. Struggling to give her kids a better life (and better food) than she had growing up, Izquierdo meets roadblock after roadblock, even after landing a job at the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger. She’s the sort of potent symbol this PSA-like movie could use more of.
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